England will be one of the favourites to win this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand after winning the European Championship – and lifting their first major international title in front of a home crowd at Wembley.
It was a second successive Euros trophy for Sarina Wiegman after she lifted it back in 2017 with the Netherlands, and the Dutch coach will be hoping to repeat last year’s victory and get the World Cup trophy.
With the World Cup squad due to be announced next week and key players such as captain Leah Williamson, Fran Kirby and Beth Mead all missing out, as well as Ellen White and Jill Scott retiring, there will be a few changes to the team.
But who will make up her 23-player squad? Let’s have a look at some of the options:
Mary Earps is currently England’s No.1 keeper and has also won the golden glove this season for Manchester United, so it is extremely unlikely that this will change before the World Cup.
Ellie Roebuck, who only became Manchester City’s first-choice keeper this season and most recently received a red card in the Manchester derby, will be second-choice keeper.
— Ellie Roebuck (@ellieroebuck) July 8, 2022
It’s a toss-up between Hannah Hampton and Emily Ramsey for the third-choice keeper. Ramsey received her first senior call-up in February but had to withdraw due to an ankle injury, whereas Hampton hadn’t featured for the Lionesses since the Euros win in July due to personal issues – but was recalled by Wiegman in the April Window.
With Williamson missing the World Cup due to a ruptured ACL, this means that Alex Greenwood is likely to be placed at centre-back – but, with her being such a versatile player, she could just as easily start at left-back as well.
Millie Bright and Lucy Bronze have both been out with knee injuries for a significant period of time, with Bronze close to returning for Barcelona. It’s a long wait for Bright, but if Bright isn’t fit for the World Cup, who will replace her?
Jess Cater, Niamh Charles and Esme Morgan are all versatile options who could play the position, as well as Lotte Wubben-Moy, who has been a regular in Wiegman’s squads.
The option to recall Steph Houghton is also a possibility. The Manchester City defender has 121 caps for her country and was named captain back in 2014, but hasn’t featured for the Lionesses since May 2022, when she was included in Wiegman’s provisional squad.
Keira Walsh has gone from strength-to-strength since making the move from Manchester City to Barcelona, including being named player of the match during the Euros final – with both Walsh and Georgia Stanway having established themselves as first-choice midfielders.
With Kirby ruled out, super-sub Ella Toone, who often replaced Kirby, has been playing in the position regularly.
Katie Zelem is another name that has been thrown around as a possibility, she was not selected in the April camp but is often a regular within the squad camps.
Jordan Nobbs’ move from Arsenal to Aston Villa broke fans’ hearts, but this move has been one of the best things for her as she’s playing more games and was recently involved in the April camp.
She missed out on the 2019 World Cup due to an ACL injury and missed the Euros again due to injury, so here’s hoping she will be called up for this World Cup.
This is where some of the decisions get interesting.
Alessia Russo is the Lionesses’ preferred choice forward after her incredible contribution to the Euros and Arnold Clark Cup.
Beth England has been unlucky to not feature for the Lionesses in recent times. After making the transfer from Chelsea to Tottenham for more game time, she has become Tottenham’s saviour this season – getting them out of relegation with 12 goals to her name.
Euros heroes Chloe Kelly and Lauren Hemp are almost certain to be on that plane, with Rachel Daley expected to move from defence to forward.
There are plenty more battling it out, with Everton loanee Jess Park and Manchester United’s Nikita Parris all hoping to impress and make it on the plane.
Who do you want to see feature?